Facilities Development & Operations
This past Summer, an Elm tree next to MacQuarrie Hall lost a large limb which damaged a portion of the building. Fortunately nobody was walking past that entrance when it fell, so there were no injuries.
Visual inspection of the tree showed signs of decay and disease. Safety concerns prompted the hiring of a professional arborist to evaluate the health of all 31 Elms on campus. The evaluation showed that many of the Elms were suffering from interior decay and pose a potential safety hazard to the campus due to a lack of structural integrity. The arborist recommended that, due to the health and age of the trees, they should be removed.
The map above indicates the location of the trees in question. The Campus Planning Board, in addition to doing a campus walk and review of the trees, reviewed the map, and the arborist's recommendation in early November. The Board subsequently recommended that the campus remove the trees noted on the map with some exceptions.
The arborist's report indicates that all the Elms will eventually need to be removed, but there is no immediate safety concern with the ones chosen to remain in the interim.
For several months, FD&O has been working with a landscape architecture firm to update the Campus Landscape Master Plan. This Master Plan is intended to provide guidelines for overall campus landscaping, including the replacement of the trees that will be removed in this process. A draft of the Landscape Master Plan will be presented to the Campus Planning Board for review this coming Spring. Once the plan is finalized, then the specific species of replacement will be determined.
In addition to replacing the trees, we are contacting lumber mills so that the removed trees will be milled into useable lumber, an effort that ties in well with our campus sustainability efforts.
The expansion of the SPX building will also require the removal of two redwood trees. We are hopeful that contracts can be secured in time to complete the tree removal projects over the holiday break.
While we do not like to remove trees, it is a necessity of managing a healthy urban forest and something that cannot be avoided at times. The trees that are removed will be put to good use, and will be replaced with new and healthy ones that will serve our campus for decades to come.